Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Theatre Buff? Look at EXIT THE ACTRESS.

Exit the Actress is a first novel by Priya Parmar, a young woman with roots in English Literature and the Theatre. It recounts the life of the 17th century Restoration actress Nell (Ellen) Gynn via a sequence of fictional diary entries and a series of gossipy news items, letters from royalty, and even period recipes for food and medicines.  Nell is portrayed as an independent woman who will play by her own rules and not those of the men around her. She lives out her unmarried life as the mistress of three different Charles', but is faithful to each in his time. Above all she is adamant about not being kept and continues to insist on control of her living space and her professional life in the theatre.
The diary format tends to diminish the tension somewhat as the conflicts are narrated rather than dramatized, but the theatre buff will still be caught up in the Restoration ambiance and the treatment of familiar stage figures such as Thomas Killigrew, John Dryden, and the third Charles, King Charles II of England. At over 400 pages of smallish print, you will not be polishing this off in an afternoon at the beach, but I think you will find Ms. Parmar's take on Nell quite endearing and somewhat different from some of the more salacious takes on her life.


Monday, July 08, 2013

Bit and pieces post firecracker day

Blogging is tough to keep up.
Gee, nothing since Fathers Day.  What's been going on?  Not a whole lot and that's good at my age.  Surprises mean change and change requires energy. 
Did learn a thing or two in the last few days though.   For instance in a lovely program on Hampton Court, the royal residence just outside of London, I learned that those little figures peering down from overhead in the eaves of the great hall are the source of the word "evesdropping".

After that came the first episode of "Endeavor".  Yes, PBS is our channel of choice.  It is a Masterpiece Mystery prequel that takes us back to Inspector Morse's first days on the job as a smart but naive young investigator.  The portrayal of the young Morse seems too precious. He seems too willing to show off his observation skills, but perhaps this will mellow as the series progresses.  I also wonder why there is anyone left in Oxford after all these years of seemingly continuous multiple murders.   Is this series a setup for a pre-prequel that will give us the very young Morse making the decision to become a cop? 

Rain has once again put the golf on hold and may also put the library board picnic indoors tonite.

Working on an entry on the Ringling Estate in Sarasota.  Maybe tomorrow.   Meanwhile the grandsons play a mean game of baseball and the granddaughter is looking to start walking any day now.

The rich are not like the rest of us. Because, well, they're rich.